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APE Suspension
Family Owned WA business with over 45 years experience

Wheel Alignment

Wheel Alignment

After the fitment of suspension parts your vehicle will perform best after a wheel alignment.  This would be paramount should your suspension have been modified (for example a lift kit) as not only may the vehicles toe in be effected but checks and adjustment’s are also required to assess ride height, thrust and to bring camber and castor into line.  Most alignments such as this will take at least and hour and maybe even more should re-shimming of control arms be required.

At APE we have the knowledge and experience of aligning many vehicles, we are very well known for aligning in Perth and are specialist’s in this field.

APE currently prefer to use reliable laser German built ‘Beissbarth’ Equipment.

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Alignment is one of the key maintenance factors in getting the most wear and performance from your suspension and tyres. Wheel alignment provides:

  • safe, predictable vehicle control for steering and braking
  • a smooth and comfortable ride free of pulling or vibration
  • improved fuel consumption

Today’s modern suspensions require a precise four-wheel alignment that can only be achieved through a modern alignment system. This applies to both front and rear wheel drive vehicles.

Alignment Basics

Aligning a car or truck involves the adjustment of the vehicle’s suspension, not the tyres and wheels. The direction and the angles that the tyres point in after the alignment is complete are critically important.

There are five factors involved in setting the alignment to specification: caster, camber, toe, thrust and ride height.

Use the following guide to better understand the process and spot potential problems.

Caster

casterCaster is the angle of the steering axis (the part of the suspension that supports the wheel and tyre assembly).Viewed from the side of the vehicle, an imaginary line drawn between the centre’s of the upper and lower ball joints forms an angle with true vertical; this is defined as caster. The illustration to the right shows whether this angle is referred to as positive or negative. Caster is important to steering feel and high-speed stability.

Camber

camberViewed from the front of the vehicle, camber describes the inward or outward tilt of the tyre. The illustration below shows whether this tilt is referred to as positive or negative. The camber adjustment maximizes the tyre-to-road contact and takes into account the changes of force when a vehicle is turning. Camber is the one adjustment that can be set according to driving habits. Generally, if you drive more aggressively when cornering, more negative camber can be set. If you drive on highways and do very little hard cornering, more positive camber can be set.

Ride Height

Ride HeightRide height is simply the distance between the vehicle’s chassis and the road. This is the reference point for all alignment measurements. Vehicle customizing very often will include raising or lowering the vehicle. Don’t forget to have your vehicle aligned afterward. Also, this rule applies if you put a taller or lower tyre on your vehicle.

Toe

toeViewed from above the vehicle, toe describes whether the fronts of the tyres are closer (toe-in (+)) or farther apart (toe-out (-)) than the rears of the tyres. The illustration below shows this relationship. Toe settings vary between front and rear wheel drive vehicles. In a front wheel drive vehicle, the front wheels try to pull toward each other when the vehicle is in motion, which requires a compensating toe-out setting. A rear wheel drive vehicle works just the opposite, necessitating a toe-in setting. Stated differently, toe is set to let the tyres roll in parallel (at zero toe) when the vehicle is in motion.

For any other questions please do not hesitate to contact us on 08 9302 6648

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